Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The Permanent Man Blog #2 - What I've Learned

Featured image2In writing The Permanent Man series, I don't have to guess at my approach to writing the stories. There are two reasons for this.

First, under the B.C. Young pen name, I attempted this with Miscorrection. I learned a lot from that. Foremost, to be patient. In my hurry to publish the books, I released them way too slow. The first one came out in May, the second July, the third at the end of December, the fourth the following May. Fifth, June. Sixth, August. What should have been a weekly release, became sporadic. I also made the mistake of adding new settings and characters from story to story that affected the continuity. I still think the stories are good and that I wrap it all up very nicely in the final novel of the series, Times, but had I followed a better routine, the series would have been what I originally intended.

But that's a learning experience, and I'm glad I had it.

The second thing lending a lot of help is The Human Division by John Scalzi. This is an episodic series that I have been reading (currently on the eighth story). I've also been checking out reviews on Amazon and other places regarding the series. And on Scalzi's blog, I've been reading comments on posts related to the series.

I've come to find a number of common complaints with the stories. Now bear in mind, I'm not saying I don't like the series. Quite the opposite. I've enjoyed reading it a lot for entertainment and learning purposes. However, here are some consistent overall views:

  • Inconsistency in story length. Many complain that some of the stories are too short.

  • Inability to connect with characters from story to story because they can't remember what happened previously very well.

  • Some stories have a rather mellow resolution to the climax (OK, this is a personal complaint of what I've read so far).

  • Inability to understand the grander story arc.

  • Referring to each story as a "chapter" of a novel.

As I look at those complaints above, I see solutions for all of them. In order to properly explain my solutions, I will post next Tuesday about the formatting of televisions series', particularly dramas, that could help squash all of the problems people have (maybe, because people do like to complain).

Now let me head back to writing The Permanent Man - Episode 2 and reading more in The Human Division.

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desmondshepherdDesmond Shepherd has written several novels including Fram GageFutan Vice, and Imaginary Me. His upcoming project, The Permanent Man, is scheduled to release November 12, 2013 and is his most ambitious work yet. Every Tuesday, right here on The Time Capsule, he will release details about his journey in writing the stories.

He's also expecting his third child within a couple months, so you can expect possible delays in his blog posts and even the release date for The Permanent Man, but he's going to do whatever he can to avoid that.